ICC rules in Tunisiana dispute

An International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) tribunal has ruled in favour of Kuwaiti mobile operator Wataniya in a dispute with Egyptian operator Orascom, concerning their jointly-owned Tunisiana venture.

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By  Administrator Published  November 30, 2007

An International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) tribunal has ruled in favour of Kuwaiti mobile operator Wataniya in a dispute with Egyptian operator Orascom, concerning their jointly-owned Tunisiana venture.

The case was brought before the ICC after Wataniya rejected Orascom Telecom's claim of right of first refusal to acquire Wataniya's 50% stake in the telco.

Orascom had claimed that Wataniya breached an agreement by failing to appoint a chairman to Tunisiana's board. But the claim was re-buffed by the ICC, which said the matter was not serious enough to force Wataniya to transfer its shares.

Qtel and Wataniya Telecom chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani said: "When Qtel purchased Wataniya from KIPCO in March it inherited an ongoing arbitration regarding the shareholders agreement between Orascom and Wataniya in Tunisiana."

He praised the ruling noting that Wataniya Telecom now wanted to work constructively with Orascom to strengthen Tunisiana's position.

Tunisiana is the second mobile operator in the North African country where mobile penetration is approximately 73%.

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